Factoring in Planning Agreements

October 12, 2017

Planning Agreements have been around for many years in Northern Ireland previously in the form of Article 40 Agreements and now Section 76 Agreements (under the Planning Act (NI) 2011) however they are increasingly being required by some local planning authorities. Between April 2015 and May 2017 Belfast City Council received £1,292,067.00 in contributions secured … Continue reading Factoring in Planning Agreements

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Compulsory Purchase and Compensation

March 31, 2017

What is compulsory purchase? The law gives powers to a number of public bodies to compulsorily acquire land (by a vesting order) for a specific purpose (such as regeneration or infrastructure provision), if the landowner is not willing to sell by agreement. Compulsory purchase powers can be viewed as a sensible tool enabling certain bodies … Continue reading Compulsory Purchase and Compensation

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Cash for ash: how the Renewable Heat Incentive got Northern Ireland overheated

March 29, 2017

An article on flaws in the design of the Northern Ireland Renewable Heat Incentive (NI RHI). by Karen Blair and Peter Lockhart of Cleaver Fulton Rankin BACKGROUND TO THE NORTHERN IRELAND RENEWABLE HEAT INCENTIVE The phrases “Cash for Ash” and “Burn to Earn” refer to the Renewable Heat Incentive scheme (RHI) which has dominated the … Continue reading Cash for ash: how the Renewable Heat Incentive got Northern Ireland overheated

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10 things developers need to know about Section 76 Planning Agreements

March 13, 2017

1. What are planning agreements?  They are legally binding contracts entered into under section 76 of the Planning Act (NI) 2011 usually between a council and a developer. 2. When are they are required?  New development can place extra burdens on the existing infrastructure and resources in an area (such as volume of traffic). Councils … Continue reading 10 things developers need to know about Section 76 Planning Agreements

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Practical Guidance for Dealing with Japanese Knotweed

March 10, 2017

Dealing with Japanese Knotweed can be complex and comes with a considerable cost.  According to the Invasive Species Strategy NI, Japanese Knotweed costs the GB economy £179 million per year. Indeed, just to clear a 10 acre site for the London Olympics cost a reported £70 million. Japanese Knotweed is classed as an invasive species … Continue reading Practical Guidance for Dealing with Japanese Knotweed

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Japanese Knotweed Case-law Update

March 6, 2017

Japanese Knotweed is on the rapid rise across Northern Ireland, causing increasing problems for developers and private homeowners. Since its introduction to the UK in the 19th Century it has spread ferociously with the ability to penetrate concrete and tarmac and cause structural damage to buildings. Many homeowners have encountered extreme difficulty in selling their … Continue reading Japanese Knotweed Case-law Update

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Consultation: The Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2017

January 13, 2017

In spite of the Brexit vote, until the UK actually leaves the EU, the UK remains under an obligation to implement EU Directives. On 12 March 2014, the European Parliament voted to adopt substantive amendments to the Environmental Impact Assessment (“EIA”) Directive 2011/92/EU. These amendments, made by EIA Directive 2014/52/EU, are required to be transposed … Continue reading Consultation: The Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2017

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When the Inspector calls…

January 9, 2017

What should you do if an inspector from the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) arrives at your site claiming that a serious pollution incident has occurred and they want to carry out an inspection? If there is no procedure in place to deal with this event then such incidents can be a source of major … Continue reading When the Inspector calls…

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The Licensing Bill – Outdoor Stadia Update

June 21, 2016

The Licensing Bill has been introduced to the Assembly to make provision for the granting of licences to authorise the sale of intoxicating liquor at outdoor stadia. The Bill has since received Royal Assent and will come into force on 01 September 2016 as the Licensing Act (Northern Ireland) 2016.   Currently in Northern Ireland … Continue reading The Licensing Bill – Outdoor Stadia Update

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Belfast Metropolitan Area Plan (BMAP) Update

March 16, 2016

The Belfast Metropolitan Area Plan (BMAP) saga extending back more than a decade is a salutary tale for the new Councils as they take over planning powers from the Department of the Environment (DoE). Not only must the new processes ensure such delays and uncertainty do not happen again, but the policy vacuum which has … Continue reading Belfast Metropolitan Area Plan (BMAP) Update

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FOOD WASTE REGULATIONS (Northern Ireland) 2015 – BUSINESS FOOD WASTE

February 17, 2016

From 1st April 2016 a change in the legislation, the Food Waste Regulations (NI) 2015 (“the Regulations”), means a change in the waste collection requirements for food businesses.  A business is classified as a “food business” if it is “an undertaking, whether carried on for profit or not, and whether public or private, carrying out … Continue reading FOOD WASTE REGULATIONS (Northern Ireland) 2015 – BUSINESS FOOD WASTE

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The Northern Area Plan

October 1, 2015

On 22 September the Environment Minister Mark Durkan launched The Northern Area Plan covering the area of the Causeway Coast and Glens. On 1 April 2015 the four Councils (Ballymoney, Coleraine, Limavady and Moyle) merged to form the new Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council. The Northern Area Plan 2016 is the development plan for … Continue reading The Northern Area Plan

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Surviving Planning Reform – The Planning Committee Meeting

April 1, 2015

A major change in the planning regime will be the determination of your planning application by planning committee. Developers are familiar with their planning applications being determined by planning officers employed by the Department of the Environment and whilst previously there was a statutory requirement to consult with the council ultimately the Department determined your application. Who will do … Continue reading Surviving Planning Reform – The Planning Committee Meeting

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Planning Reform: No April Fool

1st April 2015 is a key day for planning in Northern Ireland with the vast majority of planning control moving to the new Super Councils. The legislation was first made in 2011 but it has only been in the last few weeks that the real detail of what the Councils will be doing has become clear. Regulations have … Continue reading Planning Reform: No April Fool

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Planning Reform – 10 Major Changes

From 1st April 2015 the majority of planning functions will transfer from central government to the 11 new district councils and the Planning Act (Northern Ireland) 2011 will become fully operational. Outlined below are what will be the 10 biggest changes to the planning system. 1. Local Development Plans – Local development plans will be prepared by … Continue reading Planning Reform – 10 Major Changes

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Food for Thought not Landfill

March 26, 2015

Potential big changes on the horizon for Councils, Waste Industry, Food producers and Households The Food Waste Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2015 came into operation on 14th February 2015. The Regulations provide for the separate collection and subsequent treatment of food waste and require district councils to provide receptacles for the separate collection of food waste from households, place a … Continue reading Food for Thought not Landfill

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Upcoming Changes to the Carrier Bags Levy

December 18, 2014

A Single Use Carrier Bag Charge introduced a minimum charge on new single use carrier bags in April 2013. Sellers in Northern Ireland were required to charge customers at least 5 pence for each new single use carrier bag. The charge currently applies to all single use carrier bags – made of paper, plant based material, or natural … Continue reading Upcoming Changes to the Carrier Bags Levy

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Proposal for developer contributions for affordable housing

July 8, 2014

The Department of the Environment (DOE) and the Department for Social Development (DSD) have jointly published consultation papers on proposals to introduce developer contributions for affordable housing. The DOE consultation on proposed Planning Policy Statement 22 on affordable housing sets out the details of how developer contributions could be delivered but the actual amount of affordable housing to be … Continue reading Proposal for developer contributions for affordable housing

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Changes to the EIA Directive

May 22, 2014

The new EIA Directive for 2014/52/EU (the 2014 EIA Directive) which amends the EIA Directive on the assessments of the effects of certain public and private projects on the environment came into effect in mid May 2014. The EU took the view that it was necessary to amend the previous EIA Directive in order to ensure that environmental … Continue reading Changes to the EIA Directive

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Flooding – The European Commission Report

March 11, 2014

The recent European Commission report on Flooding is timely in light of the recent scenes on our TVs, particularly in the South of England. It is equally timely for Northern Ireland where stacked sand bags, high tides and storms mean the fear of flooding has not been far away. The Commission Report found that damage from floods throughout … Continue reading Flooding – The European Commission Report

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Controlled Waste (Seizure of Property) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2013

September 24, 2013

The Department of the Environment (“the Department”) is seeking views on its proposed approach to property seizure which cosul result in new Regulations. These will set out procedures to govern the seizure of vehicles and their contents (“seized property”) that are suspected of being used in illegal waste activity in Northern Ireland. The proposed Regulations are intended to … Continue reading Controlled Waste (Seizure of Property) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2013

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Tree Preservation Orders: What is a ‘tree’?

August 9, 2013

Section 65 of the Planning (Northern Ireland) Order 1991 permits the Department of the Environment to make a tree preservation order (TPO) in respect of, ‘such trees, groups of trees or woodlands asmay be specified in the order.’ Where a TPO has been made on any such trees it is an offence to cut down or carry … Continue reading Tree Preservation Orders: What is a ‘tree’?

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Review of Economic Development Policy

Enterprise, Trade and Investment Minister Arlene Foster has announced a review of her Department and Invest Northern Ireland’s economic development policy. The Minister has highlighted a number of areas that she wants the review to report on. She said: “Firstly, the review should ensure that the Department of Enterprise Trade and Investment and Invest Northern Ireland’s policies … Continue reading Review of Economic Development Policy

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Restriction of Hazardous Substances in Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive

Consultation on the implementation of the ‘Restriction of Hazardous Substances in Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive’ (2011/65/EU) in the UK On 12 April 2012, the Department for Business Innovation & Skills (BIS) launched a consultation on the implementation of the Restriction of Hazardous Substances in Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive (RoHS Directive) in the UK. An associated consultation stage … Continue reading Restriction of Hazardous Substances in Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive

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Planning Policy Statement 18: ‘Renewable Energy’ (PPS18)

PPS 18 was published on 11 August 2009 and it sets out the Department of Environment’s planning policy for developments generating energy from renewable resources that require the submission of a planning application. Furthermore, PPS 18 encourages the integration of renewable energy technology and a more widespread application of Passive Solar Design (PSD) in the  design, fitting and layout … Continue reading Planning Policy Statement 18: ‘Renewable Energy’ (PPS18)

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Planning Enforcement – No place to hide?

The facts of two recent cases concerning planning enforcement in England provide a cautionary tale and an illustration of the broad interpretation of planning law that may be adopted by the Courts. The case of Fidler v Secretary of State for Secretary of State for Communities & Local Government and another [2010] EWHC 143 (Admin) concerned a … Continue reading Planning Enforcement – No place to hide?

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Keeping Planning alive in troubled times – a time bomb for our banks?

These are challenging times for the Development industry. Many developers are unable to obtain finance to develop consented schemes and as a result schemes are being mothballed until market conditions improve. This has brought the issue of how to protect the planning status of land into sharp focus. This issue is important not only for developers but also … Continue reading Keeping Planning alive in troubled times – a time bomb for our banks?

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The end of planning judicial reviews?

July 2, 2013

Over recent years, there have been a number of extremely high profile planning and environmental judicial reviews; for example, there have been numerous legal challenges to the John Lewis proposals at Sprucefield, challenges to Area Plans and challenges to major infrastructure projects. Such legal challenges have been cited as a barrier to economic development in Northern Ireland. For … Continue reading The end of planning judicial reviews?

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DOENI publish Code of Practice on Waste Management Duty of Care

September 3, 2012

The Department of the Environment has issued a Code of Practice on Waste Management Duty of Care in accordance with Article 5(9) of the Waste and Contaminated Land (NI) Order 1997. Breach of the Duty of Care requirements is an offence and can result in prosecution. If a prosecution were mounted then the Code is admissible in evidence … Continue reading DOENI publish Code of Practice on Waste Management Duty of Care

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DOE Guidance on Waste Incineration Directive

February 17, 2012

The Waste Incineration Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2003 (“the 2003 Regulations”) came into force on 29 August 2003, transposing the Waste Incineration Directive 2000/75/EC (“WID”). The 2003 Regulations apply to both incineration and co-incineration plants and a plant will only be classed as such if it thermally treats waste, which is defined by the Waste Framework Directive. If a … Continue reading DOE Guidance on Waste Incineration Directive

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DOE wins important European ruling on SEA

November 17, 2011

On Thursday, 20th October 2011, the European Court of Justice gave an important preliminary ruling in favour of the Department of the Environment (DOE) making it lawful, in principle, for the DOE to consult with the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) when preparing strategic environmental assessments of its own plans and programmes. This decision has been hailed by … Continue reading DOE wins important European ruling on SEA

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